Developmental Approaches to Autism & Special Needs
About the Course
In the U.S., the primary therapy referred to autistic children is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This approach has a controversial history, including powerful political lobbying to be “the only insurance-approved, evidence-based therapy”, and accounts of trauma from former autistic clients who now advocate against its use. Developmental approaches offer a contrast to ABA, drawing the autistic individual out instead of imposing our expectations on them.
Developmental approaches offer more intuitive, holistic, trauma-informed techniques for supporting autistic individuals. Success is not measured in compliance, but in whether the individual emerges from themselves, engages with the world, attains communication and problem solving skills, and thrives in their daily lives.
This workshop is best for parents with new diagnoses and anyone unfamiliar with developmental approaches. This workshop is generalized for an adult population, and is designed to be inclusive, meaning encouraged for neuro-typical, autistic and special needs populations alike. We all benefit from interacting and learning from each other. Please remember to be kind and supportive.
These facilitated group discussions are a safe space for people with similar circumstances to discuss the unique challenges, frustrations, joys and insights that occur within their group. Ground rules include no dominating the conversation, no shaming, respect for all, and confidentiality. Groups often find a cathartic and heartwarming balance between vulnerability, shared humor and support.
Audra Olazabal, PhD
Doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology. Autism Educator & Advocate. Play, Creativity & Parenting Expertise.